Friday, March 15, 2013

Over the River and Through the Woods

Here goes. I've got to make this sound dramatic.

In a day and a half I will be doing my second half marathon. I'll be running the same race as I did one year ago, The Fall Creek Falls Trail Half Marathon. 13.1 miles. Last year I actually ran a little farther than that (report here). I finished in 2:12:00.

This year I do it again. I like races. I enjoy the camaraderie, the spirit of competition, being out on the trail giving it my all. I don't care (much) about beating the other racers, but I sure do enjoy competing with them. What I'm really hoping for (aren't we all?) is a personal best. Honestly, I'd like to break under two hours.

There is rain in the forecast. That might slow me down, the trails could be sloppy and slippy and treacherous. I'll keep on running though.

I seriously considered asking to borrow my stepdaughter's GPS watch to help me keep track of my pace, but then I changed my mind. I want to do this based on effort. I want to control my pace by listening to my body. I want to attempt to run the speed I need to run to meet my goal without constant electronic feedback. I will have time goals for each aid station, but that is all.

I'm not sure why, but I like the primalness of trail running, I like getting closer to nature, I don't want to be interrupted by an electronic guide even if it will help me monitor my pace. That is part of why I wear minimal shoes. I don't want to rely on running shoe technologies like Biomogo or progressive diagonal rollbars. I want my feet and legs, and heart and lungs and mind to run the race. Yes, I'll wear a stopwatch, and I'll be eating some gels, but that is about as advanced as my technology will be. If I could find honey in convenient 100 calorie squeeze tubes I would probably just use honey. If Mandarin "cuties" weren't so bulky I might use those, but for now I'll stick with the gels.

And I will run step by step, breath by breath. I will run through the woods, up and down the trails, along the ridges, through the creeks across suspended bridges until I reach the end.

And 1:59:59 or not I will finish smiling.

Results will be available here.